Good German not so good according to DGA crowds

good.jpgThe Good German was recently screened in New York for the Directors Guild of America to a very poor reception. There have also been some screenings in L.A. and everyone around town is taking about what a terrible disappointment it is. Here is what cinematical.com had to say:

the new Steven Soderbergh film was received pretty horribly at a recent DGA screening in NYC. And despite the director being present for a Q&A, members of the audience felt no need to be nice.

The writer claims that during the film there was some guffawing and loudly expressed commenting going on, and when the film ended, there was little applause. Then, when Soderbergh came out for questions, it got even worse. One person asked if the film was supposed to be a spoof or parody of The Third Man. Eventually, Soderbergh issued his own criticisms of the audience members but also had a little fun with the response.

This is a real shame. This movie has an all star cast including Cate Blanchett, George Clooney and Toby MaGuire,a strong director in Steven Soderbergh. And it had the great idea to shoot everything like a 1940’s movie.

So, what went wrong?

Well sometimes people rely too heavily on a high concept film, and if it’s all about the concept other things, like the story and the acting may fail. It sounds like maybe Soderbergh got too wrapped up in his vision and wasn’t open to any feedback on how things were going.

I think the industry folks are so upset about this movie because they had such high hopes. It’s not every day that people invest in a movie like this. This is a film made by a man who loves old school films, he remade Ocean’s Eleven, he helped produce Good Night and Good Luck which had an old movie feel to it. Sadly I think he just got carried away.

Maybe he wanted to do this idea ever since film school, now he has fulfilled his fantasy. Nothing wrong with that as long as he is willing to pay the price.

10 thoughts on “Good German not so good according to DGA crowds

  1. The statement “he got carried away” is still in there. To clarify I said it as in “he was filming a movie and he just got carried away with the theme, lost focus of the other important factors” As for calling the movie a possible lemon, hell yeah. I respect the guy, I think he handled the pissed off crowd well but this movie does sound like a lemon, I use that term because everyone I know who has seen it puckers their mouth like they sucked on one when I ask them what they thought of the film.

  2. Sharon, if you never said anything negative about the film or how he handled the crowd, then why put those comments in your post?

    “But this smells like a lemon”

    Hey, I don’t mean to jump on your back about this, but, look, I am sick and tired of what “Hollywood” promotes and hypes as ‘good movies’ when in truth it winds up being a overproduced piece of BS. This is not the first time “Hollywood” (“a general terminology”) has lambasted Soderbergh. Won’t be the last.

    I think the film should be tested in front of critics early on, and/or a non HW audience. I also believe the film will open along the lines of “Good Night”- not a huge release.

    Nevermind about spelling errors, I dislike them too, but since I have typos in my comments, I rarely bitch about others. However, I wouldn’t say I made all the corrections, then mispell Soderbergh twice…

    But Sharon…it seems you edited something else in your post. I’m not sure if you edited out to clarify your view (as is may seem suspect) or edited it out because you slipped up, or edited it out because you then want to respond by saying ‘I Never said…”

    I don’t want to sound like an ass. I don’t want to be an ass. But to say you didn’t say “He got carried away” – I thought you meant the film, but if you meant his reaction…well, guess what isn’t there anymore? Abracadabra. The statement is gone.

    I hope it is the former reason, and not the latter.

  3. Spelling erros have been corrected, I disagree with mr.staypuft, I think that Confessions of a Dangerous Mind was fantastic, and Traffic, Full Frontal and Syriana were all strong pieces. Good Night and Good luck is in my opinion a movie that got the concept and story and acting in perfect harmony.

    Darren I never said anything negative about how Soderberg handled the unhappy crowd. In fact I think that humor was the perfect way to go.

    But this is not an isolated incident, I’ve heard at least ten different people that I know personally who have all seen screenings through SAG, WGA and other ways and no one has liked it, obviously they are more polite at the screenings but that is all.

    When I can I’ll try and see it and review it as fairly as possible but this smells like a lemon.

    Let’s hope Soderberg makes lemonade with his next film.

  4. I think you’ve hit it right on Sharon. People were expecting another late year Oscar worthy run and this just doesn’t happen to be it. The idea seems great but the trailer didn’t sit well with me from the beginning. Not sure why but it appears to be slow, drawn out and boring. I haven’t seen it and the more I see the trailer the lower my interest gets.

  5. And the lesson here is…?
    And the point here is…?

    Sharon, I’m a bit surprised at this post. First, you make it sound like the film is bad, when you haven’t seen it (“Sadly I think he just got carried away.”)

    “Eventually, Soderbergh issued his own criticisms of the audience members but also had a little fun with the response.”

    First of all, let’s keep in mind WHO the audience here is. Question: has Soderbergh always been a DGA poster boy? Hardly. The majority of his films have been non-union, made outside of the studio system, and for the writer from cimematical to suggest (and you backing it) that Soderbergh cannot respond well to criticism…that’s out of his character.

    Second, WHO is saying the film is bad?
    Film critics? No.
    The general public, moviegoing audience? No.
    Hollywood and the DGA. Yes.

    Also, if I were a filmmaker, and screened my pic before folks who I thought were my peers, and during the movie ” there was some guffawing and loudly expressed commenting going on”. I would be slightly irritated too. Why not just leave your cell phone on? Why not bring in whistles and a tambourine? While there was ‘some applause’ this could be either those folks who chose to be respectful and did not disrupt the screening, and/or the may have liked the film/loved it.

    I’m sorry, Sharon. I’m sorry Cinematical.
    If you have an audience of your peers and the majority don’t shut the hell up when a film is screening, and you are present, wouldn’t you have something to say? To imply Soderbergh can’t take constructive criticism is a joke. What seems to have transpired here is nothing more than a disrespect from the DGA audience, as if Soderbergh expected to get in with thier good graces.

  6. When style and politics take priority over story and character, this is the result. Put Good Night and Good Luck in that category as well.

    I’d like to see Clooney dump politics, directing and Soderbergh and just go back to being an actor – Out of Sight, Ocean’s 11, From Dusk Till Dawn. On the other hand he hasn’t exactly been good in anything since Ocean’s 11 five years ago so he should just go away.

    I’d like to see Soderberg stop making movies. The only film I like by him is Ocean’s 11 and that was a mainstream effort anyway.

    The past five years these hacks, together and seperately, have given us Solaris, Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, Syriana, Intolerable Cruelty, Ocean’s 12, Full Frontal and Traffic. All junk.

  7. “This movie has an all star cast including Cate Blaunchett, George Clooney and Toby McGuire,a strong director in Steven Soderberg.”

    You butchered 3 out of 4 names there, Sheryn.

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